Just seconds from potentially winning the super featherweight boxing title, Davey Browne Jr. was knocked out and ended up receiving brain injuries that took his life just four days later.
The fight for the title turned into a fight for his life after a crushing blow to the head delivered by opponent Carlo Magali sent Browne racing to the hospital. After four days on life support without any signs of recovery and being pronounced “brain dead,” Browne's family made the difficult decision of having him taken off of life support.
Australian National Boxing Federation president John McDougall was attending the match and described the outcome as “horrific,” as he told the Sydney Morning Herald. McDougall explained how Browne was hit so hard that he was out cold before he even hit the floor of the ring.
Browne was a father of two and had just started a new family. Browne had left the boxing scene in 2009 in order to be with his new family, and he didn't return until 2013 when he felt he was ready to step back into the ring. He was 28 and his new family was just taking off when he died.
This comes just six months after another boxer, Braydon Smith, died from a punch to the head in a boxing match. Smith collapsed on the ground during the bout that was taking place in his hometown of Toowoomba. As a result, the Australian Medical Association has resurged their arguments to ban the sport of boxing in an effort to prevent additional deaths. After Smith's deaths, the AMA were vocal about it and tried to bring attention to the danger of the sport.
“One punch can kill, whether you are outside a pub on a Friday night or in a boxing ring, and this is the thing that causes young lives to be ended so traumatically,” the vice president of AMA Stephen Parnis told ABC. “The way that boxing is designed there will be these times inevitably where someone will get bleeding or irreversible damage to the brain and they will either lose their life or end up with brain damage.”
Police are looking into the incident and are ensuring that the cause of death resulted from the blow and not from unknown causes. This will ensure that the punch to the head did indeed kill Browne, and if this is the case the AMA will have a stronger argument.
The knock out blow came just 30 seconds away from the end of the 12th round. Had Browne survived until the end of the round, it was quite likely that he would have received a world ranking and won the title match.
Browne's career ends with 22 wins, two losses, and one tie. During his career he landed eight knockouts, having about one third of his opponents defeated without a need of a judgmental decision.